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RSV or the flu?

Eighteen months of pandemic-related masking, quarantine, and other public health measures like diligent handwashing not only staved off COVID-19 exposure but kept other more common seasonal illnesses at bay.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, flu pretty much disappeared globally. Positive tests for the respiratory syncytial virus (more commonly known as RSV) dropped 97.4% when compared to prior seasonal U.S. averages.

Continue reading Is it RSV, COVID, or the Flu? What You Need to Know About Viral Surges

signs of a chronic cough

During the height of the pandemic, the mere sound of a cough could create anxiety. If you had a dry cough you likely suspected that you had COVID-19. If someone around you began coughing you may have instinctively backed up a few feet. 

Now that we have largely returned to our pre-COVID era routines how do you know when a cough is something to be concerned about? A cold, flu, allergies, pneumonia, and coronavirus are just a handful of conditions that can cause a cough. 

Typically as the seasons change or we get over a cold, a cough will subside. But what if your cough lingers for weeks, disrupting your sleep and day-to-day activities?

Continue reading What Are the Signs of a Chronic Cough?

You know the symptoms of a cold: stuffy nose, cough, headache, water eyes, even mucus buildup. But those symptoms also manifest in a sinus infection. So how can you tell the difference, and when do you take your child to the ENT?

Here are three simple questions to ask to help discern:

  1. How long have the symptoms lasted?

With colds, your child may experience a runny nose for two or three days followed by a stuffy nose for two or three days. Other symptoms may creep in and peak at day five with everything clearing up and disappearing within 7-10 days. A sinus infection introduces additional symptoms like facial pressure and greenish mucus just keeps going lasting much longer.

  1. Does your child have a fever?

A fever and headache lasting three to four days is typical in sinus infections. A cold may bring on a fever, but it will usually occur within the first day or two.

  1. What color is the nasal discharge?

Colds may produce nasal discharge that yellows after the first day or two but then becomes clear again and dries. Sinus infections bring yellowish greenish nasal discharge consistently for four or five days.

So, when do you take your child to the ENT?

Sinus infections track a progression of symptoms similar to colds but increasingly more severe in their discomfort. If your child’s symptoms do not clear up within 7 days or get gradually worse, it is time to see the doctor who may prescribe an antibiotic.